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Volunteers to refurbish Salem playground

SALEM — Swings-N-Things playground at Centennial Park is scheduled to get a fresh coat of stain Saturday, with more than 85 volunteers ready to grab a brush.

City Parks Director Shane Franks reported on the project Wednesday during the Salem Parks Commission meeting.

“Keep your fingers crossed. Hopefully we’ll get the right weather,” he said.

Emmanuel Lutheran Church is sending members, Salem head football Coach Ron Johnson has volunteered his players to lend a hand, Salem High School Key Club members also are planning to be there, along with Salem AMVETS Post 45 members and some individuals.

Franks reported they estimated a need for 60 gallons of stain, estimated at $30 a gallon for a cost of $1,800, but True Value of Salem stepped forward to donate the stain.

He also received a phone call from Chris Wargo of Wargo Painting from Hanoverton who wanted to help. Wargo donated a $1,000 gift card to be used for supplies, such as brushes or rollers.

As soon as the project is done, Franks said a new layer of ground chips will be placed in the playground.

Both he and commission Chairman John Panezott had high praise for the community’s generosity.

Franks also reported on the Salem Rotary Family Sports area at Waterworth Memorial Park off of 12th Street, a project being funded by Salem Rotary as part of its 100th anniversary celebration. Salem Rotary unveiled its plans for the project in the spring.

Excavation of the 200-foot by 200-foot area is expected to begin in July. Franks showed commission members a map and renderings showing an arch entrance sign off of 12th Street and an open-style gazebo in the center of the property. A 90-foot by 90-foot soccer field will be located in the northwest corner next to a 90-foot by 90-foot volleyball area in the northeast corner. The southeast corner will include a 20-foot by 15-foot golf practice area, a 30-foot by 80-foot batting cage and a 40-foot by 45-foot Cross Fit area. A 50-foot by 80-foot children’s playground is planned for the southwest corner with a 40-foot by 80-foot grass area between the playground and soccer areas.

Plans call for installing the concrete areas after excavation and the walkway from 12th Street to the center gazebo.

Franks said Hickey Metal Fabrication is donating to fund the entrance arch sign and J. Herbert Construction is donating to cover the cost of the gazebo. Both are Salem companies. The hope is to have everything done possibly this year, although he did say the playground, which is being handled by someone from Rotary, may be done in the fall.

During his report, Parks Foreman Jim Grimm said he met with personnel from Home Depot who said they want to do a project for the parks, donating $500 worth of materials and a crew of workers. The project chosen is the bridge for the duck pond. Franks said they’ve also talked about doing another project, but no final decision has been made on the other project.

“That’s awesome,” Vice Chairman Lucille Karnofel said.

Grimm also reported on other work being done, including handling some burrowing bees at the band shell, pool prep, equipment repairs, pot hole filling at Centennial Park and cleaning up around Eagleton Glen park off of Eagleton Road near the Teegarden Covered Bridge. The Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office has been approached about keeping an eye on the area.

The next parks commission meeting will be 5 p.m. July 28 at the parks office, 2222 Oak St., just off of Southeast Boulevard.

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